Thomas Somerset, 1st Viscount Somerset

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Thomas Somerset, 1st Viscount Somerset (1579 [1] 1651) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1601 and 1611. He was raised to the Peerage of Ireland in 1626.

Portrait of Sir Thomas Somerset, Viscount Somerset Portrait of Sr. Thos. Somerset, Viscount Somerset (4671998).jpg
Portrait of Sir Thomas Somerset, Viscount Somerset

Somerset was the third son of Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester. [2]

In 1601, Somerset was elected Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire. [3] He became a member of Gray's Inn on 7 August 1604. [2] In 1604, he was re-elected MP for Monmouthshire and sat until 1611. [3]

Somerset was sent to Scotland with Charles Percy by the Privy Council to notify James VI and I of the death of Elizabeth I. [4] He was appointed Master of Horse to Anne of Denmark in 1603. His father was Master of Horse to King James. [5] Somerset argued with a Scottish courtier William Murray of Abercairny about this role at York in June 1603. [6]

On 1 January 1604, he danced at Hampton Court in The Masque of Indian and China Knights . [7] In November 1604, Somerset fought with a Scottish aristocrat John Stewart, Master of Orkney in the Baloon or "balowne" Court at Whitehall Palace. Stewart was confined to his chamber but Somerset was sent to the Fleet Prison. [8] Their argument followed on an incident when Somerset accompanied the Duke of Holstein and the Master of Orkney to the Queen's apartments, and as the gentlemen were at the door of her Privy Chamber, accused each other of pushing and shoving. [9]

He was knighted as Knight of Bath on 5 January 1605. He took part in the tournament for Prince Henry, Prince Henry's Barriers in January 1610.

In December 1626, he was raised to Peerage of Ireland as Viscount Somerset of Cashel. [2]

Somerset died in 1651 and the title became extinct. [2]

Somerset married Eleanor (or Helena) de Barry, daughter of David de Barry, 5th Viscount Buttevant, [2] in 1616. [10] She was the widow of Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond, who died in November 1614.

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  1. "Somerset, Sir Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 W R Williams Parliamentary History of the Principality of Wales
  3. 1 2 Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp.  229–239.
  4. John Nichols, Progresses of James the First, vol. 1 (London, 1828), p. 37.
  5. Linda Levy Peck, Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England (Routledge, London, 1993), p. 70: Edmund Lodge, Illustrations of British History, vol. 3 (London, 1791), p. 209.
  6. Maurice Lee, Dudley Carleton to John Chamberlain, 1603-1624 (Rutgers UP, 1972), p. 35.
  7. Martin Butler, The Stuart Court Masque and Political Culture (Cambridge, 2008), p. 63.
  8. Edmund Lodge, Illustrations of British History, vol. 3 (London, 1838), pp. 108-9; vol. 3 (London, 1791), pp. 245-6. "Ballon" was a kind of ball game.
  9. HMC Salisbury Hatfield, vol. 16 (London, 1933), pp. 391-3.
  10. John Maclean, Letters of George Lord Carew to Sir Thomas Roe (London, 1860), p. 41.
Parliament of England
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire
With: Henry Morgan 1601
Sir John Herbert 1604–1611
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Somerset